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Comic Book / Supergirl (1984)

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Supergirl Movie Special is the official comic adaptation of the 1984 movie. Published in October 1984 (with a cover date of February, 1985), it was written by Joey Cavalieri and penciled, inked and colored by Gray Morrow. Jose Luis Garcia Lopez provided the cover art.

Kara Zor-El, Superman's kid cousin, is one of the denizens of Argo, a Kryptonian city which survived its planet's holocaust and now drifts aimlessly around the space. One day, Kara's friend and mentor Zaltar "borrows" the Omegahedron, a matter-transmuting artifact which keeps Argo's life support systems running, so he can create and see a real organic tree with his own eyes before leaving for Earth. However, Alura walks into his den as he is showing Kara the Omegahedron, and Zaltar is forced to lend his matterwand to Kara to keep both women distracted as he hides the stolen device hurriedly.

Unfortunately, Kara playing with the wand accidentally opens a breach into the forcefield surrounding Argo City, and the Omegahedron is sucked into the space. Blaming herself for the loss, Kara "borrows" Zaltar's space pod and sets out on a quest in search of the device before her city run out or power.

Her quest leads her to the planet which her cousin calls home, where an ambitious and powerful witch called Selena has found the Omegahedron.


  • Actionized Adaptation: The comic-book, working off an earlier version of the script, toned down many of the Midvale scenes in favor of more action, including a fight with a shadowy version of Selena in lieu of the film's gigantic demon.
  • Adaptation Deviation: Rather than stealing Nigel's wand to turn him into an old man, as she did in the original film, Selena uses the Omegahedron to age him artificially.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: In the original film, Kara's parents Zor-El and Alura were a brunette man and a blonde woman. In the comic-book adaptation, Zor-El is a redhead and Alura has reddish-brown hair.
  • Adapted Out: The film scene where a pair of truckers try to harass Supergirl is cut out.
  • Aliens in Cardiff: Kara's pod lands close to the sleepy town of Midvale shortly before a witch decides to take it over to build her power base.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Justified. Despite being an alien Kara can speak, read and write in English because her parents had monitored Superman's activities in Earth and learned the language.
  • Big Bad: Selena takes hold of the Omegahedron, a transmuting-matter device which usually serves as Argo City's life support system, and she uses its power to take over one whole town.
  • Bridal Carry: Non-romantic example. Zor-El carries his daughter Kara in his arms after saving her from being dragged out of Argo City's borders and into the vacuum of space.
  • But Now I Must Go: After defeating Selena and restoring Midvale to normal, Supergirl says goodbye to the people she met and streaks into space to go back to her hometown.
  • Chained to a Rock: Selena chains Ethan to one wall of her lair to bait Supergirl into a trap.
  • Coincidental Broadcast: Selena accidentally switches on the car radio right when a broadcast is reporting that Superman is off world, meaning that he will be unable to stop her evil plans.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: The official comic retelling of Supergirl (1984).
  • Contrived Coincidence: When the Omegahedron gets thrown into space, it randomly drifts towards Earth and crashes into the ground next to a black magic practitioner with world domination aspirations.
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: Argo City looks like a humongous, glowing-white, drop-shaped diamond floating in space. Their inhabitants wear bright robes and flowing capes.
  • Disaster Dominoes: The events which lead to the battle between Supergirl and Selena are as follows: Zaltar steals a matter-replicating device so that he can see lifelike vegetation. When he is nearly caught by Alura, he gives Kara his matterwand to keep her mother distracted as he subtly kicks the Omegahedron away. The ball-shaped device rolls near Kara when she is playing with the wand. Kara creates an insect, gets scared, and shoves it away. The insect then crashes into the city's barrier, and the Omegahedron is sucked through the crack. Kara blames herself, gets into Zaltar's space pod and pursues it until Earth, where it is found by Selena.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Kara emerges out of her pod after landing on Earth and starts exploring her surroundings. Feeling marveled by world's nature, she picks a rock, unaware of her newly-gained super-strength, and gets shocked when the stone unexpectedly shatters into a million bits.
    Kara: "It's so hard...So rough to the touch! I wonder if...I—I broke it! But...I was never that strong before!"
  • Doppelgänger Spin: Selena creates a bunch of copies of herself to surround Supergirl and prevent her from saving Ethan.
  • Dynamic Akimbo: After creating a whirlwind which successfully drags Selena and her shadow-clone into its twister, Supergirl smiles, places her fists on her hips and poses confidently and smilingly as looking how her sorcerous foe is tossed through a portal into another dimension.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Selena's first scene involves one conversation where she reveals within two panels that she is a short-tempered, impatient witch with world-conquering ambitions, she yearns for more power, and she dislikes coming across as sweet or kind.
  • Extra-Dimensional Shortcut: When making the trip from Argo City to Earth, Kara's starship goes into a space warp to cut its travel time considerably.
  • Fireballs: When she sees Supergirl and her friend are climbing their way out of the Phantom Zone, Selena casts a spell called "Thessalian Fireballs", causing orbs of fire to rain on them.
  • Fortune Teller: Before meeting Nigel and starting delving into black magic, Selena was a fortune-teller who made a living by reading tea leaves at Lake Tahoe.
  • Future Food Is Artificial: Due to a lack of animals and plants in Argo City, their inhabitants have to eat synthetic food.
  • The Ghost: Kara's cousin is often mentioned, and even shown in one poster, but he never makes a flesh-and-blood appearance.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: Kara destroys both Selena and her world-conquering scheme before heading back home. However, she was only seen by three people who promised to not say a word to anybody about her. The people of Midvale never knew their savior, and they never knew why Selena simply and suddenly vanished without a trace after arrogantly taking over the town.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: As dodging a demonic shadow-copy of Selena, Supergirl takes Nigel's advice to turn the witch's powers against her. Kara creates a cyclone that traps Selena and the demon together, and since it now has nothing else to go after, it turns on Selena, who fears her own monstrous "reflection".
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Even though they are hanging from a cliff, hence they are easy targets, Selena's fire spell fails to hit Supergirl, and it only hits Zaltar's shoulder after two tries.
  • It's All My Fault: Kara blames herself for the loss of the Omegahedron, even though her mentor Zaltar gets the lion's share of the blame: Zaltar "borrowed" the Omegahedron to satisfy his artistic curiosity. When Kara's mother walked into his chambers, he gave Kara one of his gadgets to keep both her and Alura distracted as he hid the Omegahedron. Unfortunately, Kara playing with his reality-warping device accidentally caused the Omegahedron to be sucked into the vacuum of space.
    Kara: "They'll never understand! It's my fault the Omegahedron ins gone...and it's up to me to get it back!"
  • The Joy of First Flight: When she rises through the air for the first time, Kara is surprised but delighted, and she immediately tests her new power as sporting a radiant smile on her face.
  • Just Following Orders: As she is being dragged into another dimension together with her boss by a whirlwind, Bianca asks Supergirl to save her, claiming she was just following Selena's orders. While this is true, Supergirl is also aware that Bianca was not in the slightest bit conflicted about said orders, so she does not lift a finger to help her enemy's right-hand woman.
  • Karma Houdini: Nigel, a sorcerer who owns trinkets of "unspeakable evil", is the one who taught Selena black magic. He also helps Selena kidnap Ethan, but he takes no direct action against Supergirl, so Nigel simply walks away after the climax. He even gets his youth restored when Selena's aging spell is undone.
  • Kryptonite Factor: There is not Kryptonite to be found anywhere in the story, and magic takes its place as the tool used by the villain to hurt the Kryptonian hero.
  • Love Potion: Selena brews a love potion which will cause Ethan to fall for the first person he sees, and she then tricks Ethan into drinking it. Unfortunately for her, Ethan sneaks out of her den as she is busy, and he stumbles into Linda Lee.
    Selena: "Now he who drinks the water will fall in love with the first person he sees, as long as the spider is confined, or one day goes by!"
    * later*
    Selena: "No! NO! He looked at that little twerp and fell in love with her!"
    Bianca: "At least it proves your love potion works!"
  • Lured into a Trap: Selena abducts Ethan and then summons a massive rocky spire to bait Supergirl into her trap. When Kara heads into the witch's lair to look for Ethan, she is so shocked when she finds him chained to a wall that she fails to notice Selena banishing her into another dimension.
  • Matter Replicator: Both the Omegahedron and the Matterwand can create objects and even living beings out of air.
  • Meaningful Name: Back when she was a fortune-teller, Selena went by the pseudonym "Madame Seera".
  • A Minor Kidroduction: Kara is introduced as a cheerful little girl. A few pages later, she is a seventeen-year-old young lady.
  • The Mirror Shows Your True Self: Nigel uses his lighter's polished surface to show Selena that her reflection is not a beautiful redhead, but a living fleshless skeleton consumed by her own ambition and greed.
  • Mistaken for Junkie: Linda Lee, Jimmy Olsen and Lucy Lane see Ethan stumbling dizzily across the street. Unaware that the poor lad is feeling sick due to drinking one of Selena's potions, Jimmy guesses he is probably on drugs.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Selena, who had previously abandoned her mentor Nigel when she found the Omegahedron, asks him help to deal with Linda's interference. As soon as Nigel gives her what she wants, Selena transforms him into an old man out of sheer spite and ditches him once again. Later she decides he may still be useful after all, so she holds him hostage to force Supergirl to back off. By this point, though, Nigel is so thoroughly sick of her antics that he turns on Selena and helps Supergirl beat her.
  • Mugging the Monster: When Linda Lee begins attending Midvale High School, two bullies called Myra and Muffy try to play nasty pranks on the newest student. Given that their "victim" is secretly Superman's cousin, every prank fails resoundingly, often backfiring on them.
  • Mundane Utility: At one point, Selena uses her fire-summoning power to light up her ex-partner Nigel's cigarette.
  • Mythology Gag: One store is named after Julius Schwartz, the then-current editor of the Superman line.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Zaltar's matter-altering device is named Matterwand, a name which had showed up in one of the earlier drafts of the script but did not make it to the movie.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: Selena constantly abuses her mentor Nigel, turning on him when she considers she does not need him anymore.
  • Non-Action Guy: Ethan, a completely average normal guy gets dragged into the conflict between Supergirl and Selena, playing the role of helpless unwitting pawn who is easily kidnapped and used as bait for the heroine.
  • Playing with Fire: Selena is able to summon flames which she uses to punish her enemies...or light up a cigarette.
  • Plot-Relevant Age-Up: Kara, who is a little kid at the beginning of her cosmic journey, rapidly ages to teenhood when her ship goes through a space warp. When she lands on Earth, the warp's energies have turned her into a seventeen-year-old young woman.
  • Power Glows: The matter-transmuting device Omegahedron gives off a blinding golden glow when someone taps into its power. When Kara is taking it back home, it lights up like a star.
    Faster than the fastest jet, Supergirl streaks into the inky void of space, carrying the power source she searched for, fought for, and won! The Omegahedron glows intensely, as if to light her path back to her city, back to her parents, back to her heritage.
  • Rapid Aging: Selena casts a spell to change her former mentor Nigel from a middle-aged man to a decrepit geezer in a matter of seconds.
  • Reality Warping Is Not a Toy: Zaltar steals the Omegahedron, a reality-warping device which keeps Argo City's support life systems, because he wants to see real, organic trees. When he is almost caught with it, his frantic attempt to hide it away causes its loss and jeopardizes the entire space city. And how does the Omegahedron become lost, exactly? Zaltar gives a little kid his own reality-warping gadget, so she plays with it. Kara materializes an insect, gets scared when it flies too close, and drops the Omegahedron. The insect crashes into Argo City's protective membrane, and the Omegahedron is sucked out of the barrier.
  • Rousing Speech: As she is being overpowered by Selena's shadow demon, Supergirl hears Zaltar's voice in her head encouraging her to not give up and keep fighting.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: In the final scene, when Kara is about to leave Earth, Ethan reveals he figured out she was "Linda Lee".
  • Sinister Suffocation: Selena's shadow-clone attempts to kill Supergirl by putting its claws around her throat and squeezing.
  • Smoking Is Glamorous: Nigel is shown smoking expensive cigarettes to accentuate his classy, wealthy appearance.
  • Surveillance as the Plot Demands: Selena can spy Supergirl and Zaltar's journey through the Phantom Zone thanks to a door-sized magic mirror.
  • Take Over the World: Selena intends to use her knowledge of black magic to conquer the world.
    Selena: "It's such a pretty world. I can't wait until it's all mine— mine to rule and do with as I please!"
  • Thrown Down a Well: Zaltar is banished to the Phantom Zone in punishment for stealing the Omegahedron. Later, Selena tries to get rid of Supergirl by casting her into the Zone. At the end, Kara throws both Selena and Bianca into the dimensional prison.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: Right before Supergirl crashes into her lair, Selena can be seen perusing a large, heavy, leatherbound copy of the Necronomicon and reading up on summoning elemental demons. One black, horned skull-and-crossbones symbol is drawn on the book's red front cover.
  • Tornado Move: Supergirl defeats Selena by spinning into existence a whirlwind which drags Selena, her shadow demon and her crony upwards and shoves them through a portal to the Phantom Zone.
  • Translation Convention: The scenes featuring conversations between aliens from Argo City are translated into English for the benefit of the readers.
  • Villains Want Mercy: At the climax of the story, Supergirl throws Selena and her assistant Bianca into the Phantom Zone. Before disappearing through a dimensional portal, Bianca -falsely- claims she was just following her tyrannical boss' orders and begs to be saved.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: When Nigel drops by Selena's den, he runs into a crowd of partygoers eating and drinking. Selena claims they are new members of her new army. However, they are not mentioned again, and they are not present during any of the battles between Supergirl and their leader.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After Nigel helps her trap Ethan, Selena decides she does not need him anymore and uses a quick aging spell on him.